Archive | February, 2014

Animal magic

27 Feb

Abode by Magpie tins

British brand Magpie ( make some lovely things – from their gift-worthy mugs with different letters of the alphabet on, through to their cushions and tableware with 1950s-inspired bird prints. So I was really excited to see their new range – Abode – featuring four little animals in their natural habitats.

Inspired by geometric patterns as well as African and Scandinavian design, they’re fun, quirky and totally covetable.

Top of my wishlist is the handy set of three tins, £16, above. They’d work equally well in a home office or bedroom as they would in the kitchen. Get them here.

Other items in the range include these sets of two tea towels (£12 for a pair)…

Deer and mouse tea towels Abode by Magpie

…and the individual boxed mugs, which would make great gifts, £8.50 each…

Deer and woods mug Abode by Magpie

… plus a gorgeous boxed espresso set (a perfect wedding gift, £22.50)…

Abode by Magpie espresso set

…and set of four side plates, £20, which you could mix with white tableware:

Set of four side plates Abode by Magpie

PS: keep an eye out too for the fab placemats (£20 for four) and coasters (£10 for four) which are coming soon.

Well planner-ed

24 Feb

lollipop designs wall planner

Last month, the talented Christine at Sew Yeah blog wrote an entry about wall planners. You can read it here.

Well, I’ve finally gotten round to sorting out the pile of papers that is my desk, and to celebrate, I’ve invested in one of her suggestions, the 2014 Wall Year Planner, £14, from Lollipop Designs (

I love the funky typography, the constellation background and the muted pastel colours and think it looks very smart indeed at the side of my desk…

photo (18)

What’s more, I’m hopeful it’s going to keep me incredibly organised for the next 12 months (admittedly, this is asking a lot).

Fancy getting your life in order too? You can buy one of your own  here. And while you’re there, I’d recommend taking a gander at the cute origami notelets, sweet sticky labels and fun parcel tape too (pictured below). I dare you to leave the site empty handed!

self adhesive labels animals

Nesting instinct

21 Feb

Retro nest of tables Debenhams and Dunelm

Can you tell the difference between the two lovely nests of tables above? Nope, nor can I! The pictures are almost identical.

However… the one of the left – the Saturn nest of tables in American oak – costs £275 from Debenhams; and the one on the right – the Skandi oak lamp tables – costs £119.99 from Dunelm Mill. That’s a huge price difference.

I’ve always had a soft spot for retro or mid-century modern style furniture, so these little beauties are high up on my wishlist. I love the way they sit snugly together, and are just the right size for a cup of tea and a lamp/vase/whatever book you’re reading at the moment.

What’s more, if Debenhams and Dunelm sell out, it’s possible to buy a spookily similar-looking set – the Revival nest of tables – for £149 from John Lewis

John Lewis revival nest of tables £149

…and the Hygena Emmett nest of tables in oak veneer for £99.99 from Homebase

Hygena Emmett nest of tables oak veneer £99.99 Homebase

…or even get the same nest but in darker Walnut wood, £119.99 again, from our friends Dunelm Mill (below). Choices, choices!

Skandi walnut nest of tables £119.99 Dunelm Mill

From catwalk to couch…

19 Feb

Leica S

It’s my favourite time of year – when all the shops start stocking up with their new Spring/Summer ranges.

And this year, more than ever before, the high street has taken its cue from the catwalk when it comes to deciding what looks the best-dressed homes are going to wear.

For 2014, the biggest trends are… Punchy Pastels (think brighter, candy colours rather than paler hues); Monochrome (with a pop of yellow, red or neon to give a bit more oomph – see Marks and Spencer’s new range, above); Metallics (including bronze, which is huge this year – see House of Fraser’s new range, below); Modern Romance (dusky pinks and lace); Global fusion (a melting pot of tribal patterns and ethnic-inspired nick-nacks); and Playful Prints such as cats, parrots and even goldfish.

PRECIOUS METALS LIFESTYLE SHOT bedstead, side table and all accessories Biba at House of Fraser 1

To find out more, read my guest post on the subject at the fabulous Wear and Where blog here – or buy the March issue of Glamour magazine (UK edition) which is on sale right now until the end of the month. Here’s a sneak peek:

photo (19)

Wood you believe it?!

12 Feb

wooden posters from Graham and Green

How brilliant are these new wooden posters? Forget paper or canvas; these fun animal sketches are screen printed onto flat sheets of birch wood, ready to hang or prop up casually on a shelf.

At roughly 30x42cm in size, they look incredibly arty and worth far more than their very reasonable £22 (each) price tag. They’re available from chic homeware store Graham and Green ( and there are several designs to choose from, including the flamingo, bear, polar bear, tiger and deer, above; plus my favourite, this bow-tied panda…

panda wooden poster graham and green…and the fantastically-named ‘Party Rhino”…

party rhino wooden poster graham and green…as well as a penguin in a very natty pom pom scarf:

penguin wooden poster graham and greenI think printing onto wood like this is a tree-mendous idea, so I fully intend to, ahem, branch out from my usual paper posters and invest in one (some are already available; other designs will be up any moment now – you can put your name down online to be notified as to when they go on sale).

Money can’t buy me love… but it can buy these!

6 Feb

Tesco Valentines I Want to Hold Your Hand Cushion, £6.00

Love a bit of romance, but hate the huge waves of tacky, cheesy, chintzy Valentine’s products that flood the shops at this time of year?

Me too.

So, this year, I’ve tried to hunt down a selection of Valentine’s gift ideas that are fun, cheeky and even – heaven forbid – actually stylish. Enjoy!

Top: I wanna hold your hand cushion £6 (what a bargain!), Tesco Direct (click HERE)

Valentines mug and earrings

Above: Paul Thurlby for Wild and Wolf mugs £14.95 for the pair,; Pixel heart earring studs £4.50,

Valentines tea towels and tote bag

Above: I love you more than chocolate tea towel £11,; Lovely tote bag £12,; Me & You tea towel £5, Marks & Spencer (

Valentines sweets and chocolates

Above: Love Letter chocolates £10 Marks & Spencer; Marshmallow hearts in a giant jar £16 John Lewis (; Sweet hearts £2 Marks & Spencer; I love you lolly £2 John Lewis

Heart shaped hole punch £x Suck UK

Above: Heart hole punch £10

Valentines little gifts

Above: Scrabble tile magnet set £4.50; Missing puzzle piece keyring £10.99,; Heart ring £6.99,

Valentines tea mitt and roses

Above: Grow your own scented roses £4, John Lewis; Personalised tea tin £9.99,; Love and cake oven mitt £14,

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